Two unnatural deaths of elephant in Assam in 10 days

10/24/2021
A lactating elephant died due to electrocution in Golaghat district on Sunday, registering unnatural deaths of two pachyderm in 10 days in Assam, officials said.

An official of Assam Forest and Environment Department said that the 18-year-old female lactating elephant died due to electrocution at Dholagaon Pathar in Golaghat district of eastern Assam in the wee hours of Sunday. Signs of burning on the body of the wild tusker due to electrocution were prominent.

"An electric post of 11 KV line was found tilted near the carcass. Perhaps it got tilted due to the brushing of the body in the post. Electric lines were hanging from 6 ft height," the official said after visiting the incident site.

A post mortem is being carried out to ascertain the exact cause of the jumbo's death.

On October 15, a six-year-old elephant was found dead in a paddy field at Shantipara under Kanyakuchi Reserve Forest in western Assam's Goalpara district.

At least 13 elephants were killed this year in various parts of Assam by illegal electric fences put up by farmers to protect their crops.

According to official records, over 90 elephants were electrocuted in Assam between 2011 and 2019. Electrocution, poisoning and natural calamities also led to elephant deaths, including a whopping 18 jumbo were killed by lightning strike in Nagaon district in May.

With the second largest elephant population, Assam is home to Asian elephants with a population of 5,719, according to the last census conducted in 2017.

Due to the deforestation and destruction of elephant habitats and crisis of fodder, men-elephant conflict is rising in Assam. According to the wildlife officials, 890 humans have died in man-elephant conflicts during the last 10 years in Assam, with Sonitpur district recording the highest deaths at 124, followed by Udalguri district with 118 and Goalpara district with 78 deaths.

This year, over 100 people including women, have died so far due to the elephant attacks in various parts of Assam.

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